Food

4 Virginia Wine Country Brunches Worth a (Gorgeous) Drive

Venture out of the city as grape harvesting season begins

Hunter's Head, a farm-owned English-style gastropub. Photograph via Facebook

Fall is primetime in Virginia wine country, when estates begin to harvest their grapes. (The beautiful weather doesn’t hurt, either.) Here’s where to stop for brunch—all places with outdoor and socially distanced options—on your day trip from the DC area.

The Ashby Inn. Photograph by Scott Suchman

The Ashby Inn
692 Federal St., Paris, VA
The scenic Ashby Inn sits within a short drive of some great wineries like RdV, which offers new reservation-only, private tastings. If you don’t feel like traveling, the wine list boasts plenty of local bottles. Snag a table on the patio overlooking the green hills, or in the atmospheric 19th century inn. The seasonal, locavore brunch menu is filled with dishes like local Ossabaw pork loin schnitzel or a smoked salmon Benedict.  Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

Bistro at Goodstone
36205 Snake Hill Rd., Middleburg, VA
The luxury resort opens its bistro and conservatory to the public, though reservations are required. Chef Chef Jan Van Haute’s a la carte afternoon menu boasts a lovely mix of soups, salads, and French fare such as escargots, foie gras terrine, and dover sole. There are also cheese boards, charcuterie, and other picnic-style items should you want to take a meal to-go. On a nice day, pick a table on the terrace.

Dining cabanas at Field & Main in Marshall. Photograph courtesy of Field & Main

Field & Main
8369 W Main St., Marshall, VA
Ashby Inn vets Neal and Star Wavra restored this gorgeous Federal-era house in Marshallall, which boasts numerous rooms for dining and new private outdoor cabanas for parties of two-to-six who prefer lunch outdoors. Chef Neal’s afternoon menu mixes hearty sandwiches like a homemade “pigstrami” with seasonal finds such as late summer gazpacho or shrimp n’ grits. You can also order items to-go online for an outdoor picnic. The town of Marshall is a fun foodie destination in and of itself with Red Truck Bakery, which offers walk-in and pick-up service; locavore market Gentle Harvest; the Whole Ox butcher, and more. Lunch served Wednesday to Monday,  from 11:30 AM to 4 PM.

Hunter’s Head Tavern
9048 John S Mosby Hwy, Upperville
This English-style tavern from the owners of nearby Ayrshire farm mixes local ingredients with British traditions. Fall weather brings a mix of neighborhood huntsmen and vineyard-hoppers to the 60-seat garden patio, while a table in the converted 18th-century log cabin is the place to dig into bangers and mash, fish and chips, or a fabulous French dip au jus accompanied by Newcastle on draft. Keep your eye on the chalkboard for seasonal specials.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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